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DLP vs. LCD - The Discussion Thread that Combines Them ALL


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245 replies to this topic

#1 of 246 SusanP

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Posted August 10 2001 - 03:54 AM

Hi Guys,

I'm new to this list but have been lurking for a couple of weeks. I've been thinking about getting a front projection system for my house. I've checked out the projectorpeople website (which is great BTW) and almost bought that Toshiba MT7 for 5K. However, recently I've been reading about DLP projectors and how the ywill overtake the LCD market.

I don't know the first thing about this stuff but I do know if I'm gonna throw down 5K I'm gonna keep it for awhile.

So which is it LCD or DLP? What to do???

Thanks guys.


Cheers,

Petunia

[Edited last by SusanP on August 10, 2001 at 11:02 AM]

#2 of 246 John-D

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Posted August 10 2001 - 04:24 AM

Petunia,

Here's some heavy reading but you'd definitely benefit from it.

LCD & DLP - Choosing a Projector

and LCD & DLP Projectors Glossary of Terms

Post further questions here should u need any clarifications.

Good Luck

-------------------------------------
The things we own end up owning us




[Edited last by John-D on August 10, 2001 at 11:29 AM]
The things we own, end up owning us

#3 of 246 ProjectorPeople

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Posted August 10 2001 - 08:28 AM

Please feel free to contact me with any questions concerning the differences between DLP and LCD. Sometimes talking with someone is a lot less confusing.

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#4 of 246 Parker Clack

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Posted August 10 2001 - 09:58 AM

Susan:

Let us know what you end up getting. Also, be sure to post some screen shots when you get it up and running.

I am setting on this fence about this too. But, I do know that I will have one of these FP in the future.

Parker

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#5 of 246 Ben Cannon

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Posted August 10 2001 - 09:31 PM


Well, DLP can't do blacks, and LCDs can't do whites or colours Posted Image

Please note, I'm a CRT nut. They're heavy and unruly and hot and smelly and a PAIN to setup, and you have to baby them, and you need a totally dark room.

But nothing else even compares.

(that said, go with a good DLP, they look better to my eyes, and they're the next wave of tech.)

Best!
Ben.

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#6 of 246 Stephen Dodds

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Posted August 10 2001 - 11:01 PM

Technical reasons aside (and forgetting CRT) LCD projectors tend to be bright and have good color accuracy. They suffer from poorer contrast and blacks and the screen door effect.

DLP projectors tend to have better blacks and contrast and less of a screen door effect. They suffer from less accurate colors and (if afflicted) the 'rainbow' effect, 'crawlies' and hot spotting.

IMHO, the better blacks and contrast of DLP overcome these negatives.

With either, the trick is feeding them the right signal. Ideally you do it at the native rate of the projector which means a scaler, doubler or HTPC.


Steve

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#7 of 246 Lou Sytsma

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Posted August 11 2001 - 12:21 AM

Susan - ultimately the best thing you can do is demo at least one of each.

As mentioned both have their trade offs. It's a personal preference of which bothers you the least. I didn't like the screen door effect from LCD though it had better colours. The contrast ratio of a DLP makes dark scenes much more viewable. Also I do not seem to be susceptible to rainbows.

These factors made the decision to go with a DLP fairly clear.

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Every man is my superior, in that I may learn from him.

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#8 of 246 Scooter

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Posted August 11 2001 - 02:50 AM

I have a Sony 400Q and adore the thing! As a matter of fact, I redid my ENTIRE basement around this projector. Gives me outstanding images and 2 years of trouble free performance. Which brings me to my point:

If this is something you are going to get in the very near future...then a consideration is how long the technology/unit has been in the marketplace! I just had to send the 400Q out for service...and since it has been a model out in the world for a fair amount of time I have some fair confidence it will be serviced promptly and properly. A tech or unit only a year or less old would give me pause. Once DLP has been around a while longer..I may make the jump. For now...I go with the known quantity.

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#9 of 246 PhilS

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Posted August 11 2001 - 07:19 AM

Susan, having just spent about 7 months on the FP buying experience, the most valuable piece of advice you will get is to audition the technologies you are considering. There's no substitute for seeing the projectors you are considering in person, and seeing them more than once. It's even better if you can deal with a dealer that has a good return policy in case you don't like it when you see it in your home. This saved me having to sell two projectors that I returned.

Both a DLP and an LCD will produce a very good HT experience. Yes, they might not be as good as some CRT's, but then they don't weigh 300 lbs., they don't require tweaking every few weeks, and with a digital projector you can generally use a bigger screen than a CRT. The biggest problem with DLP's is the rainbow effect. If you are susceptible to it, as I am, most movies become unwatchable. You need to watch enough material and know what to look for to see if you are one of those who can see it. And you need to consider that, while you might not see it, your friends might. Also, the technology is advancing to a 6-element color wheel, as opposed to the 3-element wheels in use now, and this is supposed to reduce or eliminate the rainbow effect.

The LCD's that I think are the best tend to be a bit more bright than the DLP's, which is a good thing generally. The biggest problem with LCD's is the screen door effect. Unless you a far enough away, the picture will look a little like you are viewing it through a screen door. There are ways to get around this, and LCD's vary in the screen door effect, but it is hard to eliminate it entirely.

A great place to learn about DLP and LCD technology (along with DILA technology, which is what I finally ended up with) is avsforum.com. Check out their LCD,DLP,DILA Projector forum. Also, keep in mind that the technology is advancing very rapidly. Every 6 months, there are a dozen new offerings on the market.

#10 of 246 Steve B

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Posted August 11 2001 - 08:48 AM

I need to dispel myths - CRT's are not that hard to set up and use and they give you more bang for the buck if you are willing to buy them used.

CRT's do have limitations - to really shine, you need a totally dark room (actually this is true of ALL front projectors: DLP, CRT, DILA and LCD).

As far a screen size goes, you can fill your average wall with a good CRT, so it is not really a limitation.

They are heavy (mine is one of the bigger ones and weighs approx. 175 lbs - less than my rear projection TV), but once in place, they are on the ceiling out of the way - so who cares.

In any case, if you don't see a CRT's picture to compare them to, good LCD's and DLP's look very good. I would give the nod to the DLP's I've seen (I own stock in TI, so maybe I'm biased). In 5 years I am sure it will be the technology to beat.

#11 of 246 PhilS

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Posted August 11 2001 - 11:23 AM

Well, I disagree about the convenience and setup of CRT's. I suppose everything is relative, but the conventional wisdom is that CRT's are harder to set up, they do require periodic adjustment or tweaking, and they generally do not have the brightness or contrast of digital projectors. Thus, they are not as capable of handling larger screen sizes or some ambient light as many digital projectors. It addition, they are very restricted in terms of throw distance otions (typically requiring placement within a few inches of a factor of the screen width), whereas many digtal projectors can be moved back and forth in a room 5 to 10 feet while still throwing the same screen size due to digital zoom, etc. Some digital projectors also excel in terms of resolution. Also, if a digital projector has a problem, you take it down and ship it in for repair. I would think it would be a real bummer if that CRT monster on your ceiling has a problem.

This doesn't mean one should not choose CRT. It has some advantages, such as inky blacks, no digital artifacts, great color, etc. But IMO, it is clear that digital projectors are much more convenient, which is why that is where the market is headed. As far as picture quality goes, I saw a $30,000 CRT that had just been calibrated by a pro the other day, and I preferred my DILA, primarily becuase the picture on the CRT seemed less bright and not as sharp.

Anyway, my point is not to suggest that one shouldn't choose a CRT. Everyone has to consider what is important to them. I just think it is fairly clear that, if you want the advantages of a CRT, you are going to have to put up with some inconvenience and less flexibility.

[Edited last by PhilS on August 11, 2001 at 06:24 PM]

#12 of 246 Jan Strnad

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Posted August 11 2001 - 02:04 PM

Petunia,

Whatever you get, color me green with envy. Posted Image

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#13 of 246 Michael St. Clair

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Posted August 11 2001 - 02:15 PM

Quote:
...CRT's are harder to set up, they do require periodic adjustment or tweaking, and they generally do not have the brightness or contrast of digital projectors.

What digital projectors have more contrast than a (suitable for HT) CRT projector?

#14 of 246 Luis Gabriel Gerena

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Posted August 11 2001 - 02:57 PM

"and LCDs can't do whites or colours"

This is completely wrong...please lets be more accurate in our statements so we can help our friend here and not confused him with incorrect information. Regarding the screendoor effect on LCDs well most do have it (higher resolution mostly equals less screendoor) but others like my baby Sony W400Q doesn't have that problem at all! Just ask Scooter here who is also a proud owner of this old treasure. I am sitting at 11' from a 8' wide image and unless I sit insanely close, I can't see any screendoor. Still I think that you have analyze the pros and cons of each technology and make choice based on what is more important to you, the enviroment and type of material you are going to watch.
In any case be happy cause no matter what you choose, you are going to be a happy camper cause FPTV is awesome...there is not coming back after this.
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#15 of 246 PhilS

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Posted August 11 2001 - 04:58 PM

Michael, I probably should have limited my comments re the difference between CRT's and digital projectors to brightness. Somehow the word "contrast" got in there and I don't really know how enough specifics about that aspect of the comparison to be saying that.

I also agree with Luis that it is not fair to say LCD's can't do whites or colors. The latest generation of LCD's do quite well in this regard.

#16 of 246 Jim Ferguson

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Posted August 12 2001 - 02:22 AM

I don't think you should overstate the "tweaking" requirements on a CRT projector. Once it's installed, there isn't much to do really, except check on convergence once in awhile. This is the same thing you'd do with an RPTV. My Barco's convergence is extremely stable. I might bother to check it once a month or so, and I rarely have to make more than a click or two of adjustment in one or two zones. This is a 2 minute job, tops.

I've been playing with my new LT150 on the same screen I use with my Barco 808s. The LT150 is amazing in many ways. It's wonderful for use with my laptop. But it really isn't in the ballpark, in any qualitative way, with the CRT projector. Despite its reputation for "good" black levels, I find them very, very poor compared to what I'm used to. I would have a difficult time watching a movie with any night-time scenes on this projector. The rainbow effect is also quite strong, for me at least. I can more or less live with this just by trying to ignore it Posted Image

DLP and D-ILA projectors are in the parking lot with CRT projectors, but they are not yet in the ballpark. The rate of progress is pretty amazing though, and all new developments are coming in the digital arena. So within a few years I'm confident there will be a digital projector I'd be willing to use in place of my CRT projector. That day is not yet here, however.

#17 of 246 Steve B

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Posted August 12 2001 - 03:52 AM

PhilS;

Until you have actually set up a CRT, I don't think you should be commenting on how hard they are to set up and maintain. As far as the DILA goes, it is a great technology, but if you are watching it with the lights on, you are worsening the already inferior contrast of your projector compared to CRT.

Finally, as I said, I have a 9' basement and my projector fills the wall (96" wide/120" diagonal) with a sharp (1700 x 1200 pixel - higher resolution than DILA), bright picture. To get a bigger picture, I would have to watch the movies outside. I bought a used, low hour projector for less than half of what a new G15 cost.

I'm not saying it's for everyone, but everyone should consider the CRT as an option.

#18 of 246 PhilS

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Posted August 12 2001 - 10:41 AM

Okay, since I've never set up a CRT before (notwithstanding that I've read, shopped and talked with people extensively about these issues for many months now), I withdraw my comments on their relative setup issues vis-a-vis digital projectors. Susan, if you or anyone else following this thread wants to find out if CRT's are as easy to set up as a digital projector, I can put you in touch with several people who have set up hundreds of CRT's and projectors of other types and you can ask them for their expertise. (I'll give you three guesses what they will tell you.) Some of these people also favor CRT because of the excellent picture, but they will give you unbiased advise on all of the issues.

By the way, I've never performed open heart surgery either, but I am fairly confident it's more complex than a hernia operation.

Sorry for the sarcasm, but when people ask for help, I think it's perfectly appropriate to provide them with what is generally accepted as fact i.e., that CRT's are harder to set up and tweak than digital projectors. It doesn't mean CRT's aren't great, or worth the hassle, or that anyone who owns one is foolish, or that digital projectors don't have other issues, but let's deal with the facts, huh? And not everyone should consider the CRT as an option. It might be the perfect fit for many people, but for some, it makes no sense, just as having a two-seater sports car might make no sense for many people.

#19 of 246 Steve B

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Posted August 12 2001 - 11:19 AM

Ouch!

Where did I say that CRT are as easy as digital projectors to set up????

I said they weren't all that hard. I did it first time without any help and was up and running in a half a day. I haven't had to touch the set up in many months.

By the way, in addition to setting up both CRT and Digital projectors, I have done both open heart surgery and hernia repairs. I learned how to set up a CRT in 4 hours and the digital projectors in about an hour. The surgery took years.

Bottom line, if you are willing to put the time into it, you will get a better deal with a used CRT.

#20 of 246 John-D

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Posted August 12 2001 - 11:50 AM

Used CRT's are not for everyone which is why I didn't even mention that technology to Petunia.

However if we are to go into a 'war' over what's best, I'd say allegations against the CRT Projector are mostly spread by people who've no first hand knowledge or experience of the technology and have been scared primarily by vendors who sell digital projectors only.

Go for a DLP or an LCD.. it's the IN thing to do.. paying more to get less. But once in a while a more sensible and inquisitive mind steps into the world of FP requiring more than just throwing light on a 100"+ screen.. THEN we'll talk used CRT FP's.

-----------------------------------
The things we own end up owning us




[Edited last by John-D on August 12, 2001 at 06:54 PM]
The things we own, end up owning us